Work is now starting on the 234km road that will connect the Ethiopian town of Togochale with Berbera Port in neighbouring Somalia. The project is being carried out in three phases and will cost US$400 million in all, with this first 72km section costing some $90 million. The project is of key importance to both countries, as well as for East Africa’s economy as a whole. Landlocked Ethiopia’s economy has been growing healthily in recent years but has been constrained by a lack of access to a port. Meanwhile Somalia’s political instability in past years has held back its economy, although a return to stability has been achieved in recent times, with a corresponding improvement in its GDP.
The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development is providing the financing for the road project, following agreements signed in 2018 with the Ethiopian Government and the Somalian Government. The plan will also see development work to upgrade the facilities at Berbera Port. Improvements to the road and port facilities will help trade between the two countries, as well as international trade for both.